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Mineral-heavy soil w/o added perlite and pumice for cacti/suculents

September 8, 2018

Of course, i may change the composition if i deem necessary, or

So, im opening this topic to share my own soil making experience. In my country perlite is not commercially available, and pumica can only be found in aquarium packages at pets shops, which are expensive pretty much anywhere. So, instead i replace the those components with the bulk of my soils consisting of industrial gravel(bright one), and lake shore gravel(dark one).This takes 50-65% of the soil in terms of volume. I also used sharp marble gravel in the past, as medium sized particles

The second component which i add is gritty sand. Its been washed from the extra fine particles, and is roughly comparable to horticultural grit. The sand itself may be quartz. I used to add zeolite cat litter, or sifted sand ,but one is hard to come by now, the other is just annoying to get. This is about 15-10% of the total volume.

And finally, i add the organic part- in the photo below its mushy peat + vermiculte(2 % of it added to sold package for peat). I may use other soil, like the one for germination(with sand mixed in), or one with more perlite and coir(its manufactured like that, same as above- its sold like that, and its still in small quantities compared to total volume). This takes about 20-30 % of the total volume.

I may add bentonite cat litter clay to the mix (>3% of total volume) if i feel its necessary for the plant - some cacti and adenium seem to like it...

Of course, i may change the composition if i deem necessary, or if scooping it leaves it uneven in its components, and may make quantity errors in small percentages.....

Comments (6)

  • aloebot

    This would work out. I couldn't use it because it would be too heavy to move around.

    Stefan thanked aloebot
  • Stefan

    Eh. I had to move a potted opuntia strepthacantha? thats almost as tall as me, in a huge pot. And, in winter, i have to lug around whole crates with cacti from point A to B.....So, im used to it....

  • lisasfbay9b

    Great post. It's nice to see the photos, well laid out and informative.

    Stefan thanked lisasfbay9b
  • niksouthafrica

    We also don't get pumice here and use a lot of gravel. I also make mixes with washed quartzite and topsoil. It does get heavy so I am grateful that big pots with plants like aloes don't need moving

    Stefan thanked niksouthafrica
  • SpanishFly - (Mediterranean)

    My gritty mix is 50% this stuff - granitos. I buy it at a builder´s merchants - €2 gets a bag I can barely lift. They use it here as a sort of pebble dashing.

    And I like my pots heavy - they live outdoors al year round - if I used perlite in plastic pots they would fly around whenever the wind blew.

    Stefan thanked SpanishFly - (Mediterranean)
  • Stefan

    Spanish fly, i think thats marble. It looks very similar to the marble pebbles i used to use.

    Granite isnt white or transparent..... Think i do have some of that mixed in with the large pebbles by appearance...

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